On tomorrow night’s episode of his new show, See Dad Run, Scott Baio fights with his best friend over a prom dress that both of them want for their teen daughters. As the real-life father of a 5-year-old girl, Baio won’t be dealing with that issue for a while yet – but he still sees signs that those days aren’t all that far away.
“I kind of get a sense of [her growing up] now,” he tells Babble exclusively. “She would hold my hand everywhere, and now she pushes it away. I go, ‘Really? You’re pushing my hand away?’ It’s amazing how quick they want their independence, and I don’t blame them.”
See Dad Run, which premiered in October on Nick at Nite, stars Baio (who also executive produces) as David Hobbs, an actor who becomes an at-home dad to his three children so his wife can resume her career as a soap star. It’s the network’s first live-action comedy, as well as Baio’s first regular series since Charles in Charge. “The first day or two doing the pilot was a little awkward, but then I sort of got back into the groove pretty quick,” he says.
In a neat circle-of-life twist, See Dad Run is filmed on the same set as Happy Days, the show that first made Baio famous. “It was purely coincidental, but [also] fascinating, charming, heartwarming and all that good stuff,” he remarks. “My office is Garry Marshall’s old office.”
How closely does David’s life mirror his own? “The situations are sometimes similar,” he says. “There are some moments in the show where I try to make the character react kind of the way I would react. But each story is different each week.”
Unlike his character, Baio has only one child, but fatherhood is no less challenging for him. “I’m still learning to be patient, which I’m bad at,” he admits. “When I tell her to do something, I want her to do it immediately, but I forget that she has her own thoughts and her own concerns. Patience is so important.”
Still, he’s enjoying every minute of life with young Bailey. “I was at lunch with her the other day, and I fell out of my chair watching her eat,” he says. “She has a good sense of humor.”
Bailey seems to have inherited her dad’s love of performing, and has even made a couple of appearances on See Dad Run. “She’s always dancing, always singing. She’s in dance class three days a week, she takes art class, she’s a creative kid,” says Baio. That doesn’t mean he hopes to see her follow in his footsteps. “I support whatever her path is going to be, but my advice to her about show business is not to get into it!” he says.
Generations of fans are happy Baio got into the business, however – and he’s happy to be involved in a project that both his Happy Days fans and their children (and even grandchildren!) can watch together. “We’re not reinventing the wheel, but it’s a good, solid family show,” Baio says. “Everyone can watch it, no one gets offended, you don’t have to cover the kids’ ears. It’s good kid humor.”
The “See Dad Get Attacked By Promzilla” episode of See Dad Run airs Sunday at 8 PM EST.
[Photo: courtesy Marleah Leslie & Associates]
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